The seasoning that adds flavor is salt also known as sodium chloride. The early 19th century craft of photography employed the use of this element and it’s been explored by Danielle Ezzo with her mixed media photography show “Invisible Cities” at Galerie Protégé. Arte Fuse happened upon the opening when we bumped into an art aficionado on the streets of Chelsea. Following her group, we ended up in a frame shop at the corner of 9th Avenue and 22nd Street. The big surprise was underneath us with a lower level gallery that is worth exploring on your next gallery run on Thursday night.
Galerie Protégé exhibits emerging and non-represented artists underneath a space housed in an established conservation-framing studio, Chelsea Frames. They have exhibited a wide range of contemporary art ranging from different mediums such as painting, drawing, photography, and performance-based work. For this particular show, Ezzo utilized the historical process of early photography with her mixed media hybrid of the genre. She does salt printing, which is an early 19th century photographic process and in essence is a cameraless approach to turn out her haunting images and delicately drawn abstract line constellations.
The images of the figures are evocative of a bygone era with its sense of formality in pose or framed out style that is a juxtaposition of the naked physical features. It is like a turn of the century erotic portraiture but it retains a regal if detached stance by its subjects. The line point constellations are done by hand delicately applied to blank negatives. All this line and plot points connecting with these human figures thrown into the same frame – Ezzo explores the inner connectivity of what it is to be connected person-to-person nowadays. It is a baffling and very head spinning social media world that we live in. We define our connection to people by the modern engines of technology created like Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. which we utilize and validate to no end.
There is a clever mapping done by Ezzo with the mixed media photo work in the show. It employs a hand applied method and the deft treatment comes out in the ghostly or haunting images peering out from the dark background or the barely there constellations that represent our connectivity to self-made relationships and circles we choose to orbit. In losing ourselves to the moment, maybe we can make a real human connection and do it the old fashioned way very much like what the artist had done by letting us be touched by her work emotionally or we’re touching base with others to discuss the art. Salt it up to experience is the revised cliché and a much tastier way for one to really live.
DANIELLE EZZO: INVISIBLE CITIES / On View: Oct. 11 – Nov. 8, 2012
Hours: Mon-Thu 10am – 7:30 pm / Fri-Sat 10 am – 6 pm / Sun 11 am – 5pm
Galerie Protégé.197 9th Avenue (lower level). New York, NY 10011
art review by: Oscar A. Laluyan
images from Galerie Protégé courtesy of the artist
event photography by: Max Noy